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Vienna Beef Italian Beef Kit

I’ve written a ton about Chicago’s iconic specialty, the Italian Beef sandwich.  I’ve looked at different brands to prepare at home, as well as a number of restaurant offerings.  Check all those posts out here.  Today we tried Vienna Beef’s home version of the preparation, beef and gravy frozen in a tub.  Spoiler.  Any of […]

Chicago’s Iconic Sandwich – The Italian Beef

Like most locally-specific foods around the US, whether it’s the first coney island style hot dog, or the first pizzeria in America, the origins of Chicago’s iconic sandwich – the Italian Beef – are difficult to sort out.  One story has it that Italian immigrant workers in Chicago’s stockyards brought home tougher cuts of meat, […]

Italian Beef Sandwich – A Chicago Icon

If you’ve walked around Manhattan, you’ve surely seen a pizzeria with some variation of the word “Ray’s” on the sign. The first Ray’s Pizza opened in Greenwich Village in the 50s, the owner eventually opened a second location which he later sold. The new owner retained the name, and subsequent sales and openings have created […]

Mike Ditkas Italian Beef Review

Mike Ditka, ex professional football player, ex NFL coach, has been on a licensing spree lately; in addition to his restaurants, Ditka is now rivaling Donald Trump (including questionable hair) for an expanding product line:  wine, steaks, cigars, and now Chicago style foods. I don’t know shit about football; the closest I ever came to […]

Portland, OR – Michaels Italian Beef & Sausage

Man, I love Italian Beef.  Especially served as a combo, with Italian Sausage, Beef, and juice both.  They should fit into some category here.   Chicago’s Italian Beefs are the originals, but now you can find one close to home by checking out this directory. There’s a pretty fine one in Portland, Michael’s,   and when […]

Gloriosos Italian Market Review – Milwaukee, WI

Seventy-year-old Glorioso’s in Milwaukee is one of several fine Italian deli/groceries the city has to offer. If it’s even remotely Italian, Glorioso’s has it on the shelf, in the counter or in the cooler. It’s a wonderland for foodies and cooks alike.  Naturally, I stocked up.  Sausages. Cheese. A muffaletta sandwich. So let’s talk about that.  […]

Buona Beef Grocery Review

I’ve written a lot about Chicago’s Italian Beef sandwich. The easiest way to explain it to those not familiar is to say it’s a highly seasoned French Dip, but the “Dip” part is not on the side but involves dunking the entire sandwich in au jus (only if desired).  You can read my explanation of […]

Buona Beef Restaurants Review – Chicago area

About thirty years ago, Chicagoan Joe Buonavolanto Senior had a notion to open a restaurant serving Chicago specialties – Italian beef and sausages, hot dogs, ribs, sandwiches and pizza. He took a 2nd mortgage out on his house to finance it, and did some of the initial construction with his own hands. Today, the third generation […]

Great Value Beef Meatballs Review – WalMart Nationwide

“Great Value” is one of  the in-house brands for many WalMart products. They aren’t actually manufacturered by WalMart, of course, they are contracted out to be made to Bentonville’s specifications. I take great pride in my own meatballs, it’s a recipe that I have screwed around with for decades. When I make them, I do […]

Italian Village Review, Chicago, IL

I generally eschew “legends” in the restaurant business (exception, New Orleans), as I have found over and over again, so many of them are resting on their laurels of decades ago. Such is not the case with The Italian Village, really three restaurants under one roof in downtown Chicago, is the city’s oldest Italian restaurant, serving […]

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